Author: Katey Hawthorne
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC.
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥
Blurb: Econ student Hansen Marks has been hot for Sam MacLeod since they first bonded over their secret superpowers – literally hot, since Hansen can produce fire from thin air. But soccer star Sam was always covered in girls, so Hansen kept his attraction in the closet and convinced himself that “best friends” was better than nothing.
When Sam’s electrical powers freak out in public, Hansen has a sinking feeling they’ve been spotted by unfriendly eyes. While dealing with the fallout, Sam’s emotional dependency on Hansen forces their mutual attraction to the surface. Even after they give in, Hansen is afraid to admit he’s in love. Sam doesn’t really like guys, he’s just feeling vulnerable…right?
Just as their nights are heating up, it becomes clear Sam’s electrical explosion was seen, and now someone has it in for both of them. They’ll have to save each other, both from the haters and from their own fears, if they want to maintain equilibrium.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.
Review: This book was… Quite different, frankly. I know these types of books are out there, but this is the first M/M book I’ve read that has a superpower theme. I was a bit apprehensive, of course, just like the way people are when trying out something new. But a lot of things worked here for me – and I’m not even sure if I can list down all the reasons why I liked this book a lot. Because honestly? Some part of me still isn’t sure what I liked so much about this.
What I do know is the fact that Hansen was an incredible narrator. His voice is really wonderful; it’s casual and simple but his personality really pulls through from the pages. He’s dorky, but he doesn’t push any stereotypes. I thought his explanations about equilibrium were pretty fitting – they held my attention, something I can’t really say about game theory and economics in general. Sam was a cool character, too. These two are definitely interesting characters, and from the first page I already rooted for Hansen and Sam to get together. They pretty much do so early in the book, but of course they have their issues to straighten out.
However, there are no huge misunderstandings that force a rift to grow in between these two young men. I liked that a lot. For once, we have protagonists who actually communicate – albeit they do so in their own silly way. Sometimes their conversations come in late, but these guys aren’t fast in making conclusions. They did have their own insecurities, though. These same insecurities made way for a considerate amount of minor angst (which, in turn, actually caused a lump to form in my throat in some scenes), but nothing was overdone. Their chemistry was absolutely great! This is essentially a friends-to-lovers type of story, and there is an easy camaraderie between these two. Their friendship isn’t compromised by their new relationship (although Hansen seems to think so). Also, I found myself not really minding Nessa at all. I liked her, in some ways, and an author who can write an ex-girlfriend whom I don’t find annoying is always a good author.
Like Ami said in her review, I could have benefited more from more world-building. I couldn’t understand terms like “EMF” (which I eventually figured out was electromagnetic field, or something) and “sleeper” – plus we don’t really know why these awakened people have powers, other than the mention of an organ in passing. I also would’ve appreciated a bit more elaboration on what happened with Uncle Neil and on the sleepers who go witch-hunting. What do these witch-hunters do and how bad can their actions be? I am of the understanding, though, that there will be more stories set in the same universe, and hopefully we’ll get more answers by then.
So, overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. It’s quite different from the normal stuff – which sets this apart and makes it memorable. It combines a lot of unusual aspects, like superpowers and game theory, and actually makes it work. I’ll gladly read it again at some point.